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Editorial Reviews. From the Back Cover. Mary Baxter, the best-selling author of A Divine A Divine Revelation of the Spirit Realm by [Baxter, Mary K., Lowery.
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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Highly recommend! This book has great insight into the spiritual realm. I recommend reading it after her first two books, a divine revelation of hell and a divine revelation of Heaven.
Aug 19, Ms. ArdentCap rated it it was amazing. A Must Read! The love of Jesus is real and all-encompassing and the book does a great job in relating this to its reader. Sep 28, Cathy Horton rated it it was amazing. Really easy to understand. You can visualize what Hell looks like and you can feel the pain and sorrow of these souls. Very powerful! Marion Millsap rated it it was amazing Mar 22, Lisa S. Tasha Williams rated it it was amazing Feb 13, Sharon Daniels rated it it was amazing Mar 17, Chedielyn rated it it was amazing May 03, Kathy Erwin rated it it was amazing Jul 23, Dwilli rated it really liked it Apr 20, Hilda Carmona rated it it was amazing Jan 24, Veronica rated it it was amazing Aug 31, Zandra rated it it was amazing Jan 06, Jaymee rated it really liked it Aug 12, Reva Israel rated it it was amazing Mar 06, Kgomotso Patricia rated it did not like it May 08, Irene Scallon marked it as to-read Sep 10, Uche Kelechukwu marked it as to-read Nov 14, Angel marked it as to-read Dec 30, Gooberthinkbox added it Jan 19, Shankera Strachan marked it as to-read May 26, Rebecca is currently reading it Jun 01, David Rae marked it as to-read Sep 13, Tflorez is currently reading it Nov 21, Ronda marked it as to-read Dec 04, Sarah Maietta added it Feb 04, Babs Mayowa added it Apr 29, Carl Marshall is currently reading it Jun 12, Right after the devil led mankind into disobedience, the Lord told Satan, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed [Jesus]; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel Genesis As the Second Adam, Jesus resisted evil and obeyed God even to the point of death on the cross.
The Bible says that Jesus released us forever from the satanic bondage of fear: Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews NASB. In Revelation, John described Satans final, cosmic defeat in the drama of the ages: The devil, who deceived, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever Revelation Centuries earlier, the prophet Isaiah had also seen Satans demise through the telescope of prophecy: How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
For you have said Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you,saying: Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners? Isaiah Satan takes people prisoner, but Jesus frees them. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus announced, The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Luke You might think that he would have no more strength to use against us. But this is not the case, because we have not yet reached the end of the age, and Gods purposes for the world are not yet complete. Gods people are still locked in a tremendous conflict with satanic forces. Satan has not ceased fighting God and Gods people. Evil spirits are still active and dangerous. As Paul told us, We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the Our greatest struggles in life are against the powers of this dark world. Why are so many people in the world today caught up in indescribable anguish and suffering?
Some of this pain, as I wrote earlier, has to do with the fact that we live in a fallen world. Yet other suffering is due to the devils increasing attacks. At the end of time, when Satan is defeated, he will no longer be able to exert any power or influence over the world. Satan knows his time is short, and he wants to destroy as many people as he can in the time he has left.
The fallen angels who followed Satan in rebellion also know their time is limited. In fact, they fear a premature final judgment. In Matthew , a legion of demons asked Jesus why He had come to punish them before their time. Have You come here to torment us before the time? They were startled because they knew they would lose a final confrontation with Jesus, but they didnt expect Him to appear at that time and exercise authority over them.
In Lukes account of this incident, the unclean spirits begged Jesus not to send them to the abyss. Satan and the angels who fell with him know there is an appointed day for their final judgment, and they In the Bible, Satan is never referred to as having power beyond the ability to deceive those who are willing to believe his lies and trust in the limited power granted to him. Yet, although he is limited in what he can do, he uses everything in his power and at his disposal to deceive and destroy.
Therefore, until the day when Christ returns and the enemy is ultimately defeated, spiritual warfare will continue. Even though we know that Christ will eliminate the forces of evil in the end, this knowledge does not lessen the fierceness of the struggle or its importance. The enemy that prompted rebellion in heaven still inspires rebellion on earth. Remember that the Bible refers to Satan as the god of this age 2 Corinthians The antagonism between the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of Satan is evident in every arena of life.
We should not be surprised at these battles. Peter wrote, Do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you 1 Peter Jesus said, In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world John We now have the means of victory! Instead of being at the enemys mercy, we can defeat him through Christ and the power of His resurrection.
The victory is ours to receive and apply. We are to battle against injustice, evil, and all the works of Satan. It is through the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the Word of God that we can learn to appropriate what Jesus won for us at Calvary and defeat the work of the enemy. To begin, we must do the following. Be Redeemed from the Power of Satan In order to understand and engage in spiritual warfare, you first have to be redeemed from the power of the enemy. Have you asked God to forgive your sins, and have you received Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life?
You need to do this right now, so that you can comprehend and put into practice scriptural truths concerning this spiritual war. When Saul was converted and became the apostle Paul, Jesus told him that he was to turn [people] from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me Acts God redeems all those who put their faith in Jesus. He transfers them out of the dominion of darkness, or the realm of Satan, and brings them into Christs realm, which is the kingdom of God.
See Colossians NIV. If you do not know which kingdom you truly belong to, why not pause in your reading right now, and pray this prayer? Dear God, I confess that I have lived in rebellion against You and tried to live my life in I havent acknowledged You as My Creator and Lord. There are conflicts and problems in my life that I cannot cope with alone. I cannot counteract the assaults of the enemy against me. I need Your help. I confess to You all my sins and shortcomings.
I ask You to forgive me and come into my heart. I ask You to free me from my guilt. Lift the heavy burden of condemnation from my soul through the blood of Jesus. Grant me the joy and peace that can come only from You. In Jesus name, I pray. At the very instant of your conversion, you become a child of God, fully justified, fully forgiven, and sharing in the inheritance with Christ. Your life can begin to be conformed to that of Jesus Christ as you bring your thoughts and actions in line with Gods Word and respond daily to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Learn Satans Tactics and How to Counteract Them Second, to effectively engage your spiritual enemy, you must know his tactics and how to counteract them. You cannot leave yourself open to all manner of satanic assaults and constantly be crippled or defeated by the enemy. Our example is Jesus and how He confronted the devil. He demonstrated mastery over all the powers and forces of evil. During the ministry of the Master, He challenged Satan whenever He had an opportunity, whether it was in the synagogue or in a cemetery.
See, for example, Luke ; Mark Yet he also is cowardly and, again, has limitations. He flees at the name of Jesus or when a believer pleads the blood of the Son of God over a person or situation. Through Christs victory, we can tread on the head of Satan; we can keep him under our feet. Through the precious blood of Jesus, we can overcome the devil. In New Testament days, the Romans enjoyed throwing Christians to the lions in a mainly futile attempt to have them renounce their faith in Christ.
The Romans gathered in the Coliseum, where they would throw fifty or more Christians into the arena and wait to see who would deny Christ first. Those who didnt deny the Lord were literally eaten alive. Satan is more like the lions than the Romans. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour 1 Peter He is not interested in entertainment; he wants to annihilate the work of the church. He wants to destroy people and usher them into hell. Again, Satan knows his fateeternity in the lake of fireis sealed, and he will do whatever it takes to carry as many souls with him as he can.
He is willing to use any tactic or device to make people listen to him and follow him.
We must be equipped for spiritual combat. We need to learn to resist the rebellion that caused the fall of This book is designed to show you the spiritual armor God has given you and how to use it. Satan is the foe of every human being, and especially of believers who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. In spiritual warfare, we must clearly understand that we are not at war with other people. We do not fight against unbelievers, sinners, and reprobates; we are at war with Satan, who holds people captive to his will: A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
But their behavior has its roots in something much larger. This does not excuse the wrong things they do or relieve them of their responsibility, but it helps us to focus on the real enemy. As bad as some people may seem, they are merely conduits for spiritual battle. Satan has been successful in getting us to fight people rather than battling what is really causing people to be the way they are.
Gods people are experiencing attack as perhaps Trouble is all around us. The natural consequences of our fallen world are depicted in our daily newscasts and newspapers with sad accounts of violence, suffering, and disaster. We can sense a spirit of rebellion in the attitudes of the world. We confront the worlds temptation and the devils deceit in our everyday lives as we struggle with unseen, sinister forces that want to pull us down and destroy us.
Sin is rampant in the earth as we draw closer to the final confrontation between God and Satan. The devil is frantically working to try to wreck the plans and programs of God. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians that we are not to let Satan take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. Many times, he gets the advantage over people who are not aware of how he works. It is time for Gods people to know the tactics of the devil. It is high time for the army of God to rise up and say, Enough is enough!
The Lord has promised in His Word that we can be wiser than our enemies. The psalmist said to God, You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me Psalm Satan is our greatest enemy, and yet we can be wiser and stronger than he is through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know from personal experience what it is like to be opposed by unseen, diabolical spiritual enemies that have great strength and power. I have been attacked by the devil and his coalition of evil forces, but the almighty God has always given me the victory.
In the same way, certain victory is assured to you through Christ. When we are in Christ and have appropriated the grace and protection of His sacrificial death on Calvary, we have nothing to fear. The message of deliverance and empowerment by the Holy Spirit that Jesus came to earth to proclaim is His message for us today. Jesus provides the promise of glorious victory. In Him, we have won and will win over the enemy. Notice that these words are in the plural. Satan uses many different methods and devices to cause people to stumble.
Wiles involve deceit and trickery. Deception, seduction, and lies are powerful tools of the enemy. He is subject to the limits God has placed on him. In order to carry out his program, he has to work through subordinatesboth demonic and human. The following are some of his major strategies. I have Their eyes and ears would be covered with what looked like some kind of skin. God revealed to me that spiritual blindness and deafness is the condition of many people today. The Bible speaks about this condition in a number of Scriptures, such as the following: Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not.
Jeremiah Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house. Ezekiel The hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.
Acts The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from believing the gospel. See 2 The devils primary strategy is to keep each person from hearing the gospel, recognizing the truth, and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, thus ensuring his or her continual spiritual bondage and condemnation. Stealing the Word from Peoples Hearts Yet the old deceiver doesnt stop at that. In Luke , in the parable of the sower, Jesus taught that when some people do hear the gospel, the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved Luke The Bible says that Satan works with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved 2 Thessalonians When people hear Gods truth, they must receive it and hold on to it because the enemy will try to snatch it from them.
Tempting People Away from the Truth When people do receive the truth, Satan tries to draw them away from it through temptation. Jesus talked about those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away Luke The temptation to doubt, fear, or turn back to the ways of the world is very real. How can we develop deep spiritual roots? By staying close to Christ and holding on to faith in Him: That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love Ephesians As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, It is crucial that we become established in Gods Word in order to remain steadfast in the Lord.
Enticing People with the Cares and Riches of the World Jesus continued the parable of the sower by talking about those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity Luke Satan is at work constantly to delude people into submitting to him.
The Bible says that, in his efforts to deceive, Satantransforms himself into an angel of light 2 Corinthians He chokes people spiritually by enticing them to feed on their own selfish desires rather than on the Word of God. In another teaching, Jesus said that we are to seek God and His kingdom first in our lives.
When our priorities become skewed so that we pursue our own comforts and ignore Gods concerns, then we are falling into this deception of the enemy. Satan wants to keep us from bearing fruit for God and being effective for His kingdom. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James In order to bear spiritual fruit, we must remain in Christ and pursue Gods thoughts and ways. Jesus said, The ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear We must let the Word of God be planted and bring forth fruit in our lives. Jesus taught that if we remain in Him, we will bear fruit. If we do not, we will become like a withered branch that has no useful purpose: Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John Psalm 1 emphasizes the same idea: When a person delights in God and His Word, he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper Psalm Remember that he would like to He wants to neutralize the body of Christ through doubts and questions.
He wants to cause dissent and destruction by bringing jealousy and confusion among Gods people.
He wants to deceive believers and draw them away from the truth. In Matthew , in the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus told of a man who sowed his field, and while he slept, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat. Then, Jesus explained the symbolism of this parable to His disciples: He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
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The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age. Matthew Jesus said that only at the harvest when He returns can the tares be separated from the wheat. In his evil mind, Satan has devised the cunning strategy of infiltrating the ranks of the righteous people of God by planting counterfeit Christians among them. Paul spoke of the dangers of false brethren 2 Corinthians These pseudo-believers try to entrap followers of Christ and discredit those who speak the truth. Their deceptions can be very subtle. Such imposters teach a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ Galatians Paul used strong words to warn believers against this false gospel: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed verse 8.
For example, through religious cults, and even within the church itself, counterfeit believers will try to substitute mans righteousness for Gods righteousness. Being ignorant of Gods righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God Romans They teach a counterfeit doctrine that is not in agreement with the Word of God.
John wrote, And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Satans battle strategy in spiritual warfare is to deceive us into believing his lies. He has been working this plan for years, and hes very good at it.
Dont accept the devils Accept only the genuine that comes from God. Anyone can quote from the Bible. Christians today need to be like the Bereans in the early church. They investigated what Paul and Silas were teaching them to see whether the apostles teachings agreed with the Scriptures. See Acts It is clear that there is no place to hide or escape from the effects of spiritual warfare. Even in church, we must fight the devil at times. It is the responsibility of faithful pastors and elders to remove impostors and false teachers from local congregations through proper church discipline.
Yet all Christians must learn to be discerning. Again, in the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus indicated that we wont always be able to completely separate the false from the true until the truth is revealed at the end of the age. It is therefore impossible to completely cleanse the church of enemy agents. For this reason, we must be constantly on guard. We must measure all things by the Word of God, testing not only the words of fellow believers, but also their fruittheir behavior and attitudes. If you encounter a spirit of pride and willfulness, be careful.
Apply the Word of God and church discipline with both conviction and humility. Correct, rebuke and encouragewith great patience and careful instruction 2 Timothy NIV. According to Daniel 10, entire nations are influenced by the invisible battle in the angelic realm. Working through the popular culture is a favorite tactic of Satan because it multiplies his effectiveness. As the enemy and his demons can each be in only one place at a time, and cannot personally work in every human heart, he influences multitudes through a system of thought the Bible calls the world.
John wrote, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. In general, the world controls the culture. Your worldview is vital because it affects your approach to spiritual warfare. It colors the way you see the nonmaterial world, and it determines whether you even believe in a spiritual realm. Worldly philosophies oppose the truth of the gospel, including all efforts to bring men and women to Christ.
In Western society, the world system emphasizes the temporal rather than the eternal. It focuses on comfort and self-indulgence rather than responsibility and sacrifice for others. The devil influences multitudes of people into living for the moment. They follow him Individual expressions of this thought-system may vary from one culture to another. For example, one culture may emphasize legalism rather than license. However, the end result is the same for people everywheredeception and destruction. Preying on the Sinful Nature of Man In the depths of depravity found in the human heart, our adversary has fertile soil.
As is stated so clearly in the second chapter of Ephesians, before we came to Christ, we were dead in trespasses and sins verse 1. The devils power over fallen humanity is destructive and fearful. Multitudes of people help Satan function in his role as the god of this world by allowing him to exacerbate the lusts of their flesh, or their sinful natures. When we are born again through Jesus, however, we become new creatures in Christ.
Therefore, if anyone We no longer need to obey sin or Satan. We will discuss the conflict between the flesh and the spirit, as well as how to be victorious in this warfare, more fully in a later chapter. Using Deceit Jesus often talked about the deceitful nature of the devil. One day, Jesus had a confrontation with the Pharisees. He told them in unmistakable terms that their inability to recognize the truth was due to the fact they were the children of the devil, who is the father of lies John NIV : Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
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You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. John The devil is the creator of falsehoods. He is the fountainhead of all lies. He is forever trying to deceive. Sometimes, he plagiarizes and quotes reliable sources, but even then, he puts the truth in an altogether different context so that it creates an illusion. In fact, the He is extremely selfcentered and has an unrealistic view of his abilities: You have said in your heart: I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;I will be like the Most High Isaiah Satans self-deception caused him to fall from his position of high honor, and it is still his nature to lie and distort the truth.
Not only does he deceive others in the manner of one who knows the truth and seeks to mislead, but he also lies because his own intelligence has been darkened by his perverted will. He is the father of lies because he deluded himself and willfully persists in this self-delusion. We must be careful not to fall prey to his deceitful strategyand his nature. We need to stick closely to Gods truth and ask the Holy Spirit to direct us. Jesus promised us, When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth John Using Accusation Satan uses accusations, false indictments, and trumped-up charges to try to tear down the people of God.
Revelation calls the devil the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night. In fact, the Greek word that we translate as devil is diabolos, which means false accuser or slanderer. He puts the worst possible interpretation on any act of faith and obedience, and he duplicates his accusing spirit in the fleshly nature of unbelievers.
Some people are so warped Believers are bombarded with all kinds of accusations from both inside and outside the church. As Christians, we have to guard against having a complaining and accusing attitude toward our fellow believers. We must recognize that such an attitude comes from our sinful natureand that our enemy may be inciting it in us!
A classic example of Satan as accuser is in the book of Job: Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face! So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. Job , Satan claimed that Job served God only because he was prosperous and because God had put a wall around He contended mistakenly that Job would serve God only as long as God blessed him. God then granted Satan the authority to afflict Job, but within strict limits.
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Through the book of Job, God permits us to grasp the issues of spiritual warfare in a more complete way by revealing what was going on beyond the earthly drama and giving us an insightful glimpse into His eternal purposes. While Jobs sufferings appeared to be from natural causes, they were, in truth, of satanic origin. However, God always exercised sovereign control over the events of His servants life and brought about justice and restoration.
In another example, the prophet Zechariah was given this vision of the spiritual realm: Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him Zechariah Apparently, God permitted Satan this privilege so that He could demonstrate His grace and forgiveness toward sinners. Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him.
And to him He said, See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes. Zechariah Likewise, when we come before God in prayer, Satan may be there to accuse us. The devil may make a He let the devil know that He had chosen Joshua to be His servant. God instructed the angels standing nearby, Take away the filthy garments from him. And to [Joshua] He said, See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes. Thank God, He removes our sins, and He clothes us in His righteousness when we are washed by the blood of Jesus!
One of the greatest weapons we have in spiritual warfare is the knowledge that God dismisses Satans accusations against us, showing him that we are now covered by the righteousness of Christ. God always responds to us in mercy and love. We must recognize that, because of Jesus, we are truly righteous in Gods eyes.
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against Gods elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? Romans Gods children are often confused, paralyzed, and even driven to despair when they are exposed to the merciless attacks of the accuser.
However, you dont have to be a victim; you Knowledge of the Word will help you to wage spiritual warfare against the devil and the forces of evil in his kingdom. Since we war against unseen forces, we must wage our battles by faith and not by sight. See 2 Corinthians We cannot fight back in our own strength; we must remember to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, and not our own resources, in our battles with the enemy. The apostle Peter learned this lesson the hard way. Selfconfidence prompted him to declare his willingness to die for Christ, but the Lord warned him, Simon, Simon!
Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren. Luke Peters rash boasting in his own abilities to remain faithful to Christ opened the door for the devil to cause him to fall. Jesus told Peter the devils plan ahead of time and promised to intercede for him. Peters failures, and the subsequent accusations of the devil, would sift Peter like wheat, confusing him, demoralizing him, and making him vulnerable to losing his faith. But Jesus prayers sustained him. Although Peter denied his Lord in fear three times, he repented, and His relationship with Christ was Because of Jesus intercession, Peters faith did not fail.
Likewise, our sins and failings make us vulnerable to Satans accusations, but we have the prayers of Christ on our behalf. Christis even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us Romans He always lives to make intercession for [us] Hebrews Jesus is the only One in history who could say, The ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me John Jesus motives are always beyond question, His actions are always above reproach, and He is praying and working on our behalf.
I believe that, years after this interchange with Jesus, when Peter was writing to a group of Christians who were being persecuted, he remembered the attack of Satan. Wanting to encourage them to hold on to their faith, he called the devil an enemy who prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour, and he warned the believers to be alert to him.
See 1 Peter Peter knew by personal experience what it meant to be shaken in the grip of Satan. Self-confidence is a noble trait only if we realize that our strength is in Christ. We must stand before God on the basis of the righteousness of Christ, not our own righteousness. For wewho worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh Philippians Satan hasnt been granted the power to devour the children of God, but he can influence us to the point of making us serve his ends if we dont watch and pray.
He is a ruthless, merciless fiend whose goal is to defeat and destroy us. He should never be taken lightly. Why did Judas Iscariot betray Jesus and finally commit suicide instead of repenting? He allowed himself to listen to the temptations and lies of the enemy. The Bible tells us that Satan entered Judaswho was numbered among the twelve.
So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them Luke Then, after his betrayal, when the impact of what he had done hit him, Judas took his own life instead of repenting. Judass response is in clear contrast with Peters, who repented and was restored. We cannot make the mistake of minimizing Satans power or denying the reality of his kingdom of evil.
But we must also avoid the error of falling into the devils condemnation and losing our faith and trust in our heavenly Father. Remember that the enemy cannot go beyond the limits set by God. If we do fall into his deceitful traps and sin, we can repent and receive forgiveness through the blood of Christ. The born-again believer who submits to God and resists the devil will cause him to flee.
See James In this chapter, I want to discuss various spiritual strongholds through which the enemy dominates and oppresses people. We must learn to recognize them for what they are so that we can effectively combat them. Emotional Problems In my experience, one type of spiritual stronghold is manifested through severe emotional problems. Not all emotional problems are strongholds, but they may be when emotional disturbances recur over and over In other words, when they persist in the life and personality of an individual. Some of the most common symptoms of this stronghold are anger, depression, fear, feelings of inferiority, feelings of insecurity, feelings of rejection feeling unwanted and unloved , hatred, jealousy, resentment, self-pity, and worry.
Mental Problems Another spiritual stronghold is the stifling grip of mental problems. These problems occur through disturbances in the mind or in the thought life. Caused by distorted thinking, this stronghold of evil brings about mental torment. It manifests itself in unrealistic and unexplained procrastination, incomprehensible indecision, wavering, compromise, confusion, delusions, doubt, rationalization, and even the loss of memory.
Disruptive Speech Satan also builds spiritual strongholds in the lives of individuals through disruptive speech. This stronghold may be revealed in uncontrolled outbursts that occur suddenly and without warning. Yet it often manifests itself through lying, profanity, blasphemy, criticism, mockery, railing, and gossip.
Sexual Problems Another form of spiritual oppression often seen today is the stronghold of sexual problems. This includes, but is not limited to, recurring unclean thoughts and impure sexual acts. It may include fantasy sexual experiences, masturbation, lust, provocative and lewd behavior, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, incest, and other perversions.
Satan loves to oppress people through dependence on such things as nicotine, alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription and over-the-counter medications, gambling, television, the Internet, caffeine, and even food, including salt and sugar. Therefore, what some psychologists and psychiatrists call an addictive personality may actually be the result of a spiritual stronghold. Physical Infirmities While not all physical infirmities are strongholds, God revealed to me that a number of diseases and physical afflictions are due to spirits of infirmity.
When a demon of infirmity is cast out, there is often the need to pray for a healing of whatever damage has resulted. A close and necessary relationship exists between deliverance and healing. Many people today talk about spirituality, but they are plugged in to the wrong spirit. Unfortunately, psychics and mediums are popular today, as they were in certain Bible times, and many people are falling into this grievous stronghold.
Any method of seeking supernatural knowledge, wisdom, guidance, and power apart from God is forbidden in the Bible. See, for example, Deuteronomy Believers are commanded to avoid every form of participation in demonic practices. We are not to watch movies or television programs that have demonic content, read demonic books, participate in demonic games, or listen to songs that have demonic lyrics. Many times, I have seen demons attracted to certain homes because members of these households have taken objects or literature of occult or religious error into the homes.
Occult items attract evil spirits. Through False Religion and Doctrine Believing and adopting a false religion or doctrine can also allow Satan to build a stronghold in a persons mind. If you have ever tried to talk to someone who has accepted a pagan religion, philosophy, cult, or mind science, you know how entrenched these strongholds can be. Paul warned us this way: Colossians We are warned in 1 Timothy that, in the last days, there will be a great increase of doctrinal error promoted by deceiving or seducing KJV spirits and doctrines of demons, which will infiltrate the church.
Any doctrine that attacks the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ or denies the inspiration of Scripture is a false doctrine. Moreover, those who promote disunity in the body of Christ or cause confusion in the church through their obsession with or insistence on false doctrines have fallen victim to a spiritual stronghold. In addition, teaching that distracts Christians from the authentic move of Gods Spirit can lead to a stronghold. Through Spiritual Pride or Vanity Being puffed up with a sense of superiority can be a manifestation of a religious stronghold.
This is something we especially have to guard against. The apostle Paul was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him from being conceited by his many revelations. The stronghold of spiritual conceit or vanity fosters an emphasis on fleshly activities as a supposed gateway to the spiritual. The Bible warns that if we are puffed up with pride, we may fall into the same condemnation as the devil 1 Timothy Vanity can make the person who is in error unteachable, and it is the ultimate expression of self-sufficiency. It says, I can handle life by myself.
I can save myself. I dont need God. In this way, vanity leads to personal idolatry making a god of yourself and your capabilities and can even lead to the worship of demons. The forces of evil try to persuade men and women to worship idols rather than God. Through Fear Satan wants us to be filled with fear and to doubt Gods promises and provision. Fear is deadly; it cripples, stifles, and binds.
Worry can be a terrible strain on the body. The enemy uses fear to oppress us so that we are paralyzed and ineffective in serving God. When we continually give in to fear, it can become a stronghold. We read in Revelation, He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation , emphasis added In this passage, the word cowardly seems to imply fear that causes a person to be faithless,2 perhaps to the point of denying or rejecting Christ.
The Bible tells us that whatever is not from faith is sin Romans But he who fears has not been made perfect in love 1 John , emphasis added. We must not give in to fear that would keep us from loving and serving God. Remember that Jesus came to release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage Hebrew Paul emphasized, For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father.
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans Paul also wrote, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind 2 Timothy In combating fear, we must trust fully in our relationship with God the Father.
As His children, we can rest in the knowledge of His perfect love toward us. We must not allow the enemy to cause us to doubt His guidance, protection, and provision. If unchecked, a foothold can become a stronghold. The book of Ephesians explains how we are to replace the sin in our lives with new attitudes and actions that build up others and ourselves: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
A Divine Revelation of the Spirit Realm : Mary K. Baxter :
Ephesians NIV, emphasis added With every stronghold, the devil attempts to keep men and women from faith and obedience to the gospel. He wants their hearts as his own property. The Bible tells us that the weapons with which we are to fight the enemy are not the weapons of this world, which have no power over him. Instead, the spiritual weapons God gives us have divine power to demolish satanic strongholds. These strategic assets can take into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
We are to cast down arguments or imaginations KJV , those carnal reasonings of the sinful nature that are opposed to Gods purpose: The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Spiritual warfare 1. Through Gods Word, we can cast down lies and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. The word of God is living and powerful Hebrews It will defeat any argument of the devil. For example, one day, I was sharing with a group of believers about the victory we have in Christ Jesus.
I talked about the joy of salvation and the power we have to live the Christian life. Afterward, several people came to me individually and said, Mary, I know I have power in God, but I just dont know how to appropriate that power. Unfortunately, these believers were typical of many in the church today.
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However, I rejoiced that I had the answer for them because I had gone through the same experience years ago. I turned to Hosea and read to them, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. We can defeat the strongholds of Satan by bringing all our thoughts in line with the mind of Christ. Those who give control of their thought life over to Satan and his lies will harm themselves.
Yet, by submitting to God and His Word, we can capture our whole understanding and dedicate it to obeying Christ. A victorious He voluntarily pledges their obedience to Christ. True fulfillment and power to live a victorious Christian life can come only when we are totally submitted to Him. Satans power over the believer is limited. The devil is a caged lion that seeks to devour, but he and his demonic forces have only the power God allows them or the authority a man or woman voluntarily gives over to them.
We limit Satans damage by serving God and living righteously before Him. In contrast, Satan often has overwhelming power and influence over unbelievers. I have observed many people who said, I will never do this, or I will never do that. Then they contradicted themselves and did exactly what they promised they wouldnt. This is because they are susceptible to the enemys deceit and temptations. They dont have the power and protection that believers have through Gods Spirit. Anthony Gomez from Brooklyn, New York, shared with me his awesome experience in spiritual warfare.
It shows the devils power over unbelievers and how only God can break the enemys hold on someone: I was with the Latin Kings [a well-known gang] on the mean streets of New York for several years. I have been very wicked and evil. I took pleasure in hurting people. I have been Ive come a long way to where I am now. I cant believe Im still alive. Once I was kidnapped. When I tried to run I couldnt because I had been beaten so badly. The last time I tried to run, I felt a hand picking me up and throwing me on the highway.
Fortunately, a car stopped and the people called the police. I have read two of your books, and they scared me to death before I turned to God. Ive seen demons like the ones you describebig, hairy bodies, brownish skin, eyes way back, long faces, and so on. I get a lot of dreams and visions. Once I saw little small demons put chains on me. Then two beings held me and forced me to look at a scene I did not want to see.
I felt hands holding me, forcing me to see these things; and I couldnt move. I cried for hours. I was so angry that they held me like that. I wound up in prison in Pennsylvania. At Greensburg, I got one of your books, and it really put me straight. I thank God for Dr. Lowery and Mary K. Baxter, and for the work you are doing. You dont know how much you have helped me in this new way of life. Believers may be tempted, deceived, and accused by Satan. They do not have to yield to these attacks, but if they continue to listen to Satan and turn from Gods When a believer does not resist Satan, he may become entangled so deeply in wrong behavior that he cannot escape it without special prayer and counsel from other believers.
It sometimes even alters his personality. A person can be dominated by a demon in the same way some wives are dominated by abusive husbands. It comes to the point where they lose their sense of personal worth and control. In order to defeat the enemys schemes against us, we must reject Satan and all his works.
His works are sin, not righteousness. The fruit of his actions produce poverty and lack, not fulfillment and peace. He deals in disease, affliction, and suffering, not healing, health, and wholeness. In Jesus name, we must renounce all the enemys empty promises. After prayerfully discerning that a problem is not the result of natural causes, or when the flesh will not respond to spiritual discipline, then you should consciously renounce the strongholds in Do it specifically.
Declare what you are renouncing. Renounce the Occult: Reject anything that has. Renounce False Religion and Doctrine: Reject false beliefs and doctrine that do not line up with the Word of God and do not recognize the deity and humanity of Christ. Renounce Spiritual Pride and Vanity: Reject any thought of saving or sustaining yourself through your own abilities or of taking credit for what God has done in your life.
Renounce the Spirit of Bondage: Reject mental and emotional bondage, addictions, compulsions, and sexual perversions. God will help you break the bonds of pornography, adultery, or homosexuality. Renounce the spirits of lying and confusion. Rebuke all fear, worry, anxiety, and timidity, including the paralyzing fear of death. Memorize and repeat often to yourself this verse: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind 2 Timothy Renounce the Spirit of Infirmity: Rebuke, in Jesus name, any sickness and pain the devil may be causing in your body.
Renounce the spirits of depression, despair, and suicide. It does not matter how long you have been suffering with these things. Remember the woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years but was delivered. They are selfdestructive habits that will wreck your life. You can rebuke a spirit of listlessness. You can overcome apathy. Before you can do battle against the enemy, you must release all these works of Satan. We will discuss this point in more detail in a coming chapter. We must be continually on the alert, for our enemy is persistent.
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The devil tempted Jesus, but our Lord defeated him with the Word of God. When Satan realized he had lost that round, he went away, but only to regroup and plot his next move: Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from [Jesus] until an opportune time Luke Yet remember that, whenever the devil returned to tempt Jesus, the Lord overcame Him.